Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday October 29, 2002
UA police, McKale ticket agents ╬stupid' for not planning ahead
The University of Arizona Police Department and McKale Center ticket agents must be the stupidest people on campus. What were the police and ticket agents expecting Monday morning? After all, we do go to a school of 35,000 with a ranked basketball team, and there were only 2,043 tickets being sold. Not to mention that there was no specific information given to us students on the process of buying tickets. There should have been some explanation of how Monday morning and the procedure for buying tickets works.
I saw people get there at 6 a.m. and receive tickets, while people who had been at McKale since 3 a.m. went home empty-handed. At normally run schools, the process for buying tickets is simple: first come, first served. There are even police at these schools to moderate the line. What a concept. I literally had to laugh in the SWAT team's face as they held strong their line of paintball guns and nightsticks. It is their fault for letting Monday morning get out of hand.
So let's recap: Many groggy college students awake way too early on a Monday morning with no information or organization. Oh, I see, the UAPD and the ticket agents are the stupidest people on campus.
╬Little brown ticket' needn't cost hours of pandemonium and pain
What kind of country do we live in where a school cannot even organize a simple event of giving out little colored tickets? Such a simple act should not require riot gear and baton sticks. If you were not at the box office this morning to attempt to get tickets then you probably do not have any bruises or cuts to your name.
Two words: metal barricades. A simple act of preparing for a well-known event is not out of the ordinary in the least. Simple preparations could have saved much time, money, effort and most importantly, students' safety.
To think that students have to crowd surf to get out of a simple line for colored tickets is incomprehensible to me. I myself arrived at about 3:30 a.m. and found a simple line for tickets that was organized by the students themselves. People were tossing a football, playing cards, eating, drinking and having an all-around good time. Around 5:15 a.m., the few cops who were there to begin with left, and pandemonium was created. The first thing that came to my mind was the running of the bulls. The second thing that came to my mind was pain. The second thought did not leave until about 7:15 a.m. when I got my stupid little brown ticket and left.
The Arizona Diamondbacks had a similar situation on their hands when World Series tickets went on sale. Luckily, they put thought into their situation and had simple preparations taken care of when fans arrived. Two rows of metal barricades and cops scattered around keeping an eye on things. It worked. Nobody passed out. Nobody bled. Nobody was hurt. No giant mosh pit for three hours.
Simple organization at its finest. Being chased away by riot police is not organization ¸ it is chaos.
Athletic department needs to apologize, make some changes
As we sit back and wait for the national media to exploit yet another story about how the riot police had to be called to tame UA students here in the Wild West, let those who were crushed against the ticket booth, fainted from sweaty steam writhing from the masses, or left empty-handed early Monday morning point their middle finger in the direction of the athletic department.
Instead of holding a controlled ticket distribution event at a place such as Bear Down field, where almost everyone present would've been able to get a quick and safe chance at purchasing season tickets, the athletic department insisted on creating a bottleneck that served to crush defenseless girls against a wall for more than two hours, while they sweated, cried and fainted. While police interaction was unfortunate and perhaps unnecessary, they were only acting on behalf of the multitude of victims who were pouring out of the trench. Students, willing or not, were trapped in the middle of the plaza and could not back out to give breathing room to those in front. Even when the men showed up in the riot gear, it still took about ten minutes for those in the huddled mass to head off toward the football stadium.
Due to the popularity of this year's basketball team, (i.e. a record crowd of 2,600 to watch a practice, and over 10,000 at Midnight Madness), the athletic department should have had the foresight to anticipate such a turnout and move the event to another venue. The least they could have done was to call it off this morning at 5 a.m. when there were already 3,000-plus students moshing at McKale in attempt to better their position "in line."
The athletic department should offer a public apology to those hurt in this mishap, and should consider making a few changes in their events management office.
history and Spanish literature senior
UAPD, TPD didn't do their job; need to ╬wise up' on planning
The UA Athletic Department needed to take a good look around McKale Center yesterday morning. What would they have seen? They would see me, standing among about 2,000 other students, just a meager three feet from the ticket agent. What else would they have seen? They would have seen UAPD and TPD Riot Squad members kicking out students for doing nothing more than wanting to see Jason, Luke and Rick light up the nets this upcoming season.
I do not know if these agencies had anything better to do than jam me in the back with a baton while yelling, "Exit to the west immediately," but I can imagine that they did. For what reason did this occur? The UA simply cannot comprehend the desire for student tickets, and they have yet to come up with a fair and useful ticketing distribution system.
Look around the nation; Duke, Indiana and North Carolina all have excellent and so-called "elite" basketball programs. When was the last time that you heard of these universities calling in the riot patrol to kick students out of their ticket office? I never have. The UA needs to fire the person who came up with this horrendous idea of a single distribution center and come up with a new idea, now.
I also question the UAPD and TPD: Do they not know how to respond to a call? I have been on this campus for three years, and have witnessed several riot squad response times. These police departments need to either control the event from the start, or not step in at all. Both today and the night of the infamous "riot" two years ago this March, I have seen the extremely poor actions and response times.
Come on UA, wise up.